Connacht draw old and new foes In Europe

Connacht Rugby will face another European clash with English premiership side Leicester Tigers in next season’s Heineken Cup.

Andy Friend’s squad will also play Stade Francais for the first time in European fare.

The draw will be welcomed by supporters who will enjoy a first trip to Paris, while also hoping for revenge against Leicester after last season’s two losses.

In yesterday’s draw made in Switzerland, Connacht were grouped in tier two along with Bristol, Sale, Ulster, Racing 92, and Bordeaux Begles, according to their competition rankings, with tier one and two teams pitted against each other, similarly tiers two and three.

Both Connacht and Leicester faced off last year in the Challenge Cup tournament - the English outfit prevailing 48-32 in the last 16 stage at Welford Road. They also made it to the final, but were edged out in a tight match by Montpellier in Twickenham.

Leinster will face Montpellier and Bath; Ulster Rugby is drawn against ASM Clermont Auvergne and Northampton Saints - both in pool A, while Munster Rugby, n pool B with Connacht, will face Castres Olympique and Wasps.

The exact dates of the pool fixtures will be confirmed later, but round one takes place December 10/11/12; round two December 17/18/19, round three January 14/15/16, and round four, January 21/22/23. The first leg of the following round of 16 is pencilled in for April 8/9/10.


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